A commonly held view in mainstream economic theory is that technological progress is the engine that drives the growth of commerce. This perspective is well corroborated by existing historical evidence. Technologies such as the wheel, the compass, the printing press, or the steam engine have revolutionized production, transportation, and communication, leading to market expansion and economic growth.
The internet can arguably be considered as the latest addition to this list, leading certain theoreticians to speculate that the next big technological breakthrough will also come from digital space. And some are claiming that artificial intelligence is set to become this age-defining technology.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to see widespread use in the commercial sector thanks to the increasing availability of AI-based solutions on the market. As a result, artificial intelligence is no longer something only government-sponsored agencies or multinational corporations can afford.
More and more small businesses are starting to integrate AI-based solutions into their workflows, giving them a competitive edge over their rivals on the marketplace. If you are considering implementing an AI to help you automate your business operations, take a look at our short guide on the topic below.
Email marketing automation
AI has the ability to optimize several key aspects of email marketing for small businesses. Content creation is the first element that can benefit from AI-based automation. Traditionally, marketing teams had to test different combinations of subject lines, ad copies, images, etc. to find which one performs best, but this process tends to be error-prone and time-consuming.
AI tech enables you to quickly find which combination of content will have the best performance, which will help you reduce time spent on A/B testing. AIs can also be used to find the ideal time for sending out emails to each subscriber based on their engagement history with your company. Finally, AI can determine which types of offers have the best likelihood of converting leads into customers.
Fraudulent transactions are a common sore spot for small e-commerce outfits. These companies usually don’t have the resources to pursue legal action against offenders, which makes fraud detection an imperative. Specialized AIs can utilize machine learning algorithms to determine the likelihood that a given transaction is fraudulent.
The system can also utilize a rule-based logic to block transactions that have a high probability of being a fraud. When supplied with sufficient data, such systems can be used to identify patterns associated with fraud and make adjustments to their algorithms without direct human supervision and interference. Other kinds of fraud can also be detected. One example would be AIs that monitor seat reservations for flights, events, movie screenings, etc., to find bots that automatically place reservations.
It seems that no matter how advanced technology becomes, businesses still have to contend with an ever increasing amount of paperwork. Fortunately, modern AI tools can be used to speed up this kind of work through automated document processing.
Software suites like Abacus Intelligence can sort scanned documents into separate files based on information found in header and footer sections. Such AI tools can then classify documents based on their content.
This is accomplished through the use of advanced OCR algorithms, which AIs can execute with greater speed and efficiency than conventional programs. This allows AIs to find an appropriate template for each document automatically. AIs can also be used to fill out these templates if needed, based on previously specified parameters.
Collecting lead data has become much easier with the advent of digital marketing. Small business marketing and sales teams now have a wealth of tools at their disposal to develop lists of potential clients and customer. However, acting on this data is not as easy as collecting it, which is why businesses are turning to AI to help them with the task.
AIs employ a technique called predictive analytics to determine which leads have the best chance of converting. By looking at financial, marketing, and social media data, AIs can predict future trends, determine potential spending, and find the products and services which are likely to nudge leads into becoming customers.
Customer service chatbots
Small businesses usually don’t have enough staff on hand to maintain a full customer service department. Unfortunately, providing quality customer service is no longer optional in an environment where customer experience determines whether your businesses succeeds or fails.
This problem can now be addressed by opting to use chatbots in place of human support reps. These AI-powered conversation systems can automate the support process almost in its entirety. They can answer common customer queries, route support tickets to relevant personnel within your company, and even provide custom solutions on the spot.
Chatbots are easy to set up, cheap to maintain, and they are available 24/7 once they are up and running. Chatbots with an AI back-end can adjust to performing a variety of different tasks, whereas less powerful variants tend to be more specialized in their area of application.
AI’s potential for accelerating, streamlining, and automating workflows makes it one of the most powerful tools modern businesses have at their disposal. The sooner your company adapts to using AI, the better prepared it will be for a future where business automation is not the exception, but the rule.